hi keith and everyone on the forum,

well here I go again! I'm flying on Sunday to Florence for a short break and thought I'd post about my progress in preparing for this flight. I flew 6 times last year (with the help of Keith's seminar and brilliant CD's) after walking away from Heathrow in January 2008, but after flying home from Iceland last December I vowed never to get on a plane again! I had a difficult flight home that trip, mainly because it was dark and the plane was covered in snow and ice before take-off and I worked myself up into a frenzy!

I've had my moments after booking this flight - every time I've heard about a plane crash I've been straight on raileurope.com looking at the trains, but at £800 return for me and my boyfriend I've been quickly put off that option!

The last couple of weeks I've been up and down. I've worked out that I have a general fear about safety and things that could go wrong. I'm ok(ish) with the flying sensations - I do feel strange but I put that down to it being something I don't do very often and am therefore not used to it. I'm not comfortable with the speed and the noise, but again I just try and go with it (whilst secretly being a little bit excited by it all at the same time!). What I struggle to cope with is the tiniest one-in-a-hundred-million possible chance that something might happen to my flight. I am really looking for someone to tell me that I will be 100% guaranteed safe on my flight, but I know that isn't possible because accidents happen. I am not 100% safe from the moment I get up in the morning, but somehow I seem to be able to rationalise all the more dangerous things I do every day. If I can apply this to flying then I think I'll have cracked it - sounds simple enough!

I do find statistics helpful and try to remember the difference between possibility and probability, but still find myself worrying about possibility! I also found this on you tube which has helped to normalise everything a little: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEZcBeE33wc

Today I've been planning our trip, booking museums and researching places to go which has really helped to take my mind off the flight and is, after all, the reason I am going. Will be reading all the inspirational stories and successes from all the brave members of this forum over the next few days, and hope to add another success story of my own when I get back... just need to work through the pre-flight nerves which I know from experience is the worst part.

Good luck to everyone flying in the near future, remember we CAN do it! helen x

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I feel all the same things you do! Just try to think how wonderful you'll feel when you've done it. I don't like snowy planes either, I have to fly to and from Canada lots. I've done it for years, even alone as a child and the professionals all know what they're doing but it's tricky to get rid of the anxiety even knowing all the things we learn from this site and Captain Keith! These emotional things, they're difficult to get control of!

I'll be thinking of you and of course, you'll have a happy flight and a lovely holiday. (I can be very brave at the moment, not having a fight booked for anywhere!!)
Hiya Helen

Keep at it...you'll succeed despite your anxieties. Remember it's possible that this time next year I could be the Prime Minister. Probably not though.

STOP torturing yourself with these thoughts. Are you making things better by having them? If you stop thinking about them, will anything mechanical change in the universe?

Of course you'll add another inspirational story when you get back...now get on with planning your trip that's an order from the captain.

Keith
Thanks Katherine and Keith
Everything you say makes sense, it's just the emotional side to overcome and have I been emotional today! Got a nice relaxing evening planned and with any luck tomorrow will be better.
I really appreciate your good wishes (and orders!)... helen
Helen that video is pretty cool!!
Is that 3million planes a year flying over Britain makes you think no?
Pretty safe.
And 182 milion people a year flying over Britain, wow.
Stuff like this helps, I also went on to Toronto's airport webpage to check my friend's flight arrival and when you see how many planes arrive (with out incident) it makes you realize how safe it is.
Just looking at all these planes arriving is calming.

I think if I flew every day I would have no fear as it would make it seem so normal. I know a guy who is a flight attendant and he can sleep thru turbulance.
Hello!!!

By the time I read this you were probably back safe and well! I just wanted to check that everything had gone to plan and you enjoyed your trip :))

Jo
Hi jo, really nice to hear from you... I've been avoiding the forum for the past couple of weeks because I didn't make my flight. I feel completely deflated after all the good work I did last year but for some reason this time I was completely overwhelmed with my anxieties and couldn't go through the departure gate.

Has anyone else on the forum experienced an even stronger return of their fears after successfully flying? I am at a loss of what to do next... especially as now I don't have a flight to face I can rationalise my fear and can't understand why I didn't go! Everyone on here is so brave and I wish I had better news to encourage you all :(
First of all - you are not a failure in any way shape or form. I can hand on heart tell you that I understand completely how you feel.

When I went on my NYC trip in January on the final day I think if we’d have been going rather than coming home then I’d have done the same as you. We didn’t fly back until 8.30pm and I wouldn’t even leave the bedroom until check out. I sat on the bed with my knees tucked under my chin quaking. In the afternoon we went to watch Utd play in a bar and I spent most of my time either being sick in the ladies or crying. In the end I had a good flight back but I think it was just because I’d literally exhausted all my fears and my body just gave up. On the positive side though 2 diazepam and my tiring myself out I did kind of cat nap a touch.

I wish that you lived nearby and I could do a tiny 30 min Dublin flight or something with you just to push you through the fear barrier.

If you don’t want to keep posting on the forum if you feel a bit exposed telling everyone my email addy is jotheperfectprincess@yahoo.co.uk (or add me on Facebook from the email address).

Do you think it might be worth booking a cheap cheap flight to see how you fair at getting a touch further at the airport?

I’ve got a 9 hr flight in 7 weeks so you’d better not disappear!! I need you!!

((hugs)))

Jo x
Helen

Don't beat yourself up about this..it's just one step in your journey to overcomer your fear. This probably feels like a low point but it's not...this happens to a lot of people. But they get over it and so can you. However we must keep thinking on the positive side...don't let doubts creep in. I've got alady who's made loads of flights, this morning she mailed me to say she 's getting worried again...so it's not just you.

However we 've got to get a plane to makje sure you'e organise denough to get on your next flight. This one's just a set back. Thanks too to Jo for her support.

We'll get you there...we won't give up on you, and neither must you give up on yourself! Captain's orders.

Now then what plans for next time?

Keith

ps your news does encourage people because it shows how strong this fear is and how it can creep back into your life if you don't stay prepared. Your story is just as important as the ones that say 'I DID IT' You'd ber amazed at the number of people who will actually benefit from your experience.
Thanks Jo, I will definitely keep in touch and will be here for you as your flight approaches, don't you worry about that!

Thanks for sharing your experience in NY and I can relate to you saying you exhausted your fear and gave up... I had the same experience on a flight home last year and wish it had happened this time! I have never been to the doctor to get anything to calm me down so that's on my list of things to do for my next flight.

I would love to be able to take a short flight with you! And I will look into taking a cheapy flight in the future, I think that's the best advice anyone can give.

Thanks for the hugs - I really appreciate it. Will send you an email so you also have my details if you need to get in touch anytime, hx
Thanks Keith, I really appreciate your continued support and it is such a relief to have finally shared this! My confidence was completely knocked by the air france crash, and then the yemeni crash happened - even though I know these incidents are rare I just couldn't get them out of my mind, especially as I was flying on an airbus. I thought I was coping but I just lost control at the airport - maybe it's as simple as getting something to help me relax from the doctor just to get me through the final stages, at the moment I really don't know.

I haven't got any plans to fly again soon but will definitely have a better coping strategy in place for next time! The trip to florence was just a short break and I am starting to wonder if this is a step too far for me at the moment. It's one thing preparing for a nice long holiday but perhaps doing these short flights in quick succession is something I should forget for now.

One thing that I am sure about is that the 'not going' experience I have been through is almost worse than the anxiety I was going through at the time... and my flights both got there and came back safely which I always knew would happen!

Your advice about preparation is key, I did it all wrong this time and I do hope others can take some encouragement from my experience.
If it makes you feel any better we went to Scotland earlier in the year by coach and one of the trips was through the Trossachs. The roads were winding and close to the edge and I cried like a baby!! They had to stop the coach and that was with my feet on terra firma!!

We all have our breaking point :)
Hi Helen and Jo,
I have definitely experienced a stronger return of my fears despite a safe and fine flight back from Morocco a couple of months ago. While I was out in Morocco the Air France plane disappeared and I was almost unable to get myself home but thanks to Keith and this website I did it - but since I have got back I have become a bit frozen. My brother has invited me to Spain for a few days sunshine and swimming with my little nephew and I havent booked anything yet - am coming up with excuses and am ashamed of myself....it feels good to be truthful now to you all on this site. Helen you are brave but its like you say - until we get on that flight perhaps we hide a bit until we have to face that moment of truth. As Jo says - we are not failures..its just a long struggle and it cant be fixed over night but we will get there in the end - I know we can do it!!!

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